News of the WeekCosmology

Eternal-Universe Idea Comes Full Circle

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Science  26 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5568, pp. 639
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5568.639a

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A new theory published online by Science this week ( describes a sheetlike "brane" universe that eternally dies and rises from its ashes, hearkening back to the long-discarded steady-state model of a cosmos without beginning or end. The new idea is an extension of the ekpyrotic or "Big Splat" theory, which physicists introduced last year as an alternative to the standard, inflationary picture of the formation and demise of the universe.